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Clippers begin long trip with easy win over Wizards, 107-81

Blake Griffin almost has a triple-double without playing in the fourth quarter, with 21 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Chris Paul scores a season-low two points.

February 04, 2012|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from Washington — The Clippers' game Saturday against the hapless Washington Wizards was both the end of a brutal five-game week and the start of a six-game, 10-day trip.

And the easiest part of the difficult week and the softest part of this road schedule against the Wizards made for a successful ending and start for the Clippers.

They dominated the Wizards in a 107-81 victory at the Verizon Center, improving their road record to 4-4.

And they survived last week's schedule of five games in seven days with a 4-1 record.

The Clippers had impressive victories last Sunday over the Denver Nuggets and Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Then they beat the Utah Jazz on Wednesday in Salt Lake City, where the Clippers hadn't won a game in nine years.

But they got blown out by the Denver Nuggets in a rematch Thursday night at Staples Center, losing by 21 points after trailing by as much as 27.

That left a mark on the Clippers, something many of them harped on, something they seemed to take out on the 4-20 Wizards. The Clippers ran up a 36-point lead against Washington.

"We were all disappointed in our performance the other day against Denver," said center DeAndre Jordan, who had 18 points on nine-for-11 shooting, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots against the Wizards.

"So, we had to come out and have a pretty good road trip. We had to start it off right."

And the Clippers did, shooting 54.2% from the field, 47.8% from three-point range. They had 32 assists on 45 field goals.

The Clippers held the Wizards to 37.5% shooting and outrebounded them, 53-32. Jordan had seven offensive rebounds.

The Clippers next play at Orlando on Monday before they visit Cleveland, Philadelphia, Charlotte and defending NBA champion Dallas.

"We've got a long road trip," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "This was a good way to start. Nothing is easy in this league."

It helped that the Clippers had five players score in double figures, led by Blake Griffin, who almost had a triple-double without playing in the fourth quarter. He had 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Chris Paul scored a season-low two points, missing eight of his nine shots, but he handed out seven assists.

But Paul and Griffin gave the crowd what they wanted right away, with the point guard throwing a lob to Griffin for a one-handed dunk early in the first quarter.

Griffin had a breakaway dunk later in the quarter when Chris Singleton unwisely tried to chase down the Clippers forward, but instead got dunked on while committing a foul.

The crowd was on its feet both times cheering the Clippers and not the hometown Wizards.

"Obviously, we're not hanging our hat on this win and saying we got it made," Griffin said. "It's a tough road trip. We've just got to keep coming together and keep playing well."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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